Anxiety and panic attacks can be terrifying and unpleasant experiences. Sudden feelings of intense panic are coupled with physical symptoms including racing heart, nausea, tremors and a desire to run away. It’s usually unexpected, unexplained and extremely hard to control.
The following tips are designed to help you relieve the symptoms of panic attacks, manage anxiety and prevent future attacks.
Breathe deeply and slowly. Try holding your breath at the start to reduce the feeling of restriction and then start to breathe slowly from the diaphragm. Breathe in for around 4 seconds, hold for 2, then exhale slowly for around 5.
Focus on your external senses rather than internal thoughts. You may feel jumbled or overloaded. Take a moment to try and slow down and notice each sense in turn.
Remind yourself that the panic you’re feeling is not caused by external triggers so you do not need to run away or fight. Don’t try and force yourself to “control” the panic, simply try and let it flow over you and take steps to combat it with other techniques.
Be aware of the physical symptoms such as nausea, fast heartbeat and overheating. A slow cataloguing of the experience, although difficult, will gradually allow your brain to realise there is no actual threat and start to re-set itself.
You may find that cognitive diversions such as counting backwards or physical distractions such as muscle relaxation may help. Try not to run from the triggers of panic attacks as this will strengthen the fear association in your brain.
Acknowledge the problem. It’s tempting to think that if you ignore the feelings they’ll go away but the truth is that usually these things get worse if left unaddressed.
Relaxation or “stop-and-replace” techniques can be learnt with the help of a professional and can be an effective way of replacing negative thoughts with positive.
Try writing down your triggers and experiences and working through to unlock your behaviour patterns.
Look after your body and mind. Practice meditation and relaxation, try and remain in the moment rather than letting your mind wander and become jumbled or overloaded.
Eat well, sleep well and avoid stimulants or excessive alcohol as this usually makes symptoms worse and can lead to loss of control.
Develop “go-to” activities such as painting, music, humming, or even just sipping a cup of tea – anything you associate with calmness that you can turn to as a distraction.
I have helped many people suffering with anxiety and panic attacks over the years. My unique blend of therapy is extremely effective in helping people overcome these feelings.
I can help you identify your unhelpful ways of thinking, develop coping strategies and relieve panic attacks with safe, drug fee treatment.
For more information please do get in touch.